Celebrate clip art

A couple of months ago I was asked to do the closing remarks and closing prayer at a rather unique prayer breakfast. This breakfast was an intercession filled supernaturally unified prayer breakfast with no key note speaker and simple adoration worship of our Lord. About 300 folks attended from many walks of life, ethnicity, and cultural background. It was exciting to see the diversity of the body of Christ so well represented in that room. This gathering every year goes beyond several churches in town. Joining in with Pastors and intercessors were our Mayor, City Council reps, Police Chief, Parole Officers, Sheriff, Highway Patrol officers, County officials, business leaders, educators and nonprofit leaders.  The tenor of the breakfast was worshipful and everyone was deeply engaged praying at their tables. No doubt that the Father was hearing our prayers as our city leaders from nearly every sphere possible humbled themselves before Him!

I had been praying for weeks before the breakfast asking Holy Spirit to reveal to me the Father’s heart regarding this gathering.  I longed to hear what He thought would be the best closing words and prayer that would glorify the Lord Jesus and express His message to all. About a week before the breakfast, I had still not heard anything from Him. No scripture, no special inspiration of any kind for this important 7th annual event in our city. So, I pressed in and asked again for His heart on the matter.  Well, the Lord speaks to me in really funny and even silly ways sometimes! This time when I prayed immediately the words to a song from 1980 by Kool and the Gang popped into my head and I started singing to myself “Celebrate good times, come on! It’s a celebration! Woo Hoo!”   (Unfamiliar with this golden oldie? You can Listen on YouTube) (Or read the Song Lyrics)

In the face of the seriousness of the issues in our world, nation, state, city, and all that the people around me are going through; and personally I was grieving the loss of my Dad (He had passed away just days before the breakfast); that is NOT at all what I expected to hear. But, it was what I needed to hear, it was what everyone at the breakfast needed to hear, and I am VERY convinced that it is what the body of Christ needs to hear right now; perhaps better needs to hear over and over until we believe it! The truth is despite what seems like insurmountable challenges on every level of life, we are in the midst of Good Times as the body of Christ. These are remarkable days just before the return of our Lord. We are the army of believers He has called and chosen for this day, time, and hour to be a demonstration of His love, power and goodness in the earth.  It’s important that we understand the intensity of our need for JOY in the midst of challenges and how much we need to Celebrate Him in the middle of our prayer battles.  The resulting flow of supernatural JOY out of His heart to ours is strengthening, inspiring, and healing. It is the very bedrock of our patient perseverance (James 1:2-4) (Romans 5:1-5)   Not only that it is infectious and touches everyone around us!

The truth is His burden is light!  (Matthew 11:28-30) We can be His joy-bearers. We can release His joy to others even when we ourselves are experiencing challenging times.  (Hebrew 12:1-2) He is excited when we agree in prayer. There’s a celebration in heaven every time we unify. He is excited over us as we pray in agreement for His plans and purposes. He responds when we rejoice in Him even when we haven’t seen the answers yet.  The song goes on to say “There’s party going on right here, a celebration to last throughout the years!” We have a lot to celebrate because our party has not only lasted on earth for years and years, it is an eternal celebration of our Lord! We get to Celebrate Him Forever!!!

When the call of intercession for our family,  our ministry,  work place, friends, city etc gets to feeling heavy, when life seems to weigh 5000 pounds all the time, when all we seem to ever hear is bad news, that is the time to look to heaven and declare our celebration of who He is!  It’s time for Psalm 150   Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 150 – The Passion Translation  Hallelujah! Praise the Lord! Praise God in his holy sanctuary! Praise him in his stronghold in the sky! (TPT)

What I am hearing today to counter the heaviness the enemy is trying to get us to grab on to is that it is time to join the celebration in heaven over His goodness and mercy, to celebrate all He has done, is doing and will do. To celebrate His love and His promises.  Disciple of Christ Jesus, He is ready to refuel us with His Joy to continue to pray powerfully, to continue to stand fast and firm upon His word no matter the circumstances we see or experience.  This is a daily benefit; for the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and JOY in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

Celebrate good times, come on! He’s our celebration!!!  Woo Hoo!
With JOY in our Lord,

Copyrighted 2019 Cheryl S Birch
Post may be shared in whole with author credited
image found on google labeled Free for reuse


worry - fretting

It seems that for intercessors and those who are faithful leaders and witnesses in the body of Christ that the difficulties of life just keep on happening without much of a break. Most are totally out of our control and too many are beyond disappointing, they are downright scary. There are victories too, but the challenges seem so heavy that they appear to far outweigh the good things God is doing in our lives.  Recently, when I was going through yet another round of challenging circumstances I heard this question: Do you believe in Me or do you Believe Me?  That stopped me in the middle of my fretting party! It really is two different things. To believe there is a God is common to humankind.  As followers and Disciples of Christ Jesus we are called to step beyond believing in God to believing everything about Him and believing everything He says as true.  There I was sitting in the place of the man whose daughter was ill as recorded in Mark chapter 9:24. He said “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” Jesus had said to him in verse 23, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Meditating on that for a bit, it became evident that the “fret-fest” about my personal challenges had taken over my thoughts and emotions causing my “belief-o-meter” to plummet. I certainly was NOT in the place of “all things are possible to him who believes” in regard to my life.  Fretting was where I was living and that had to change. Now please note that fretting is selective. If friends, fellow intercessors or my Pastor need prayer my faith is a mountain; no problem believing God for other folks! It’s the close to home stuff that is the challenge and the Lord is after that root of fear and unbelief in His chosen ones.

Fretting means to be devoured or consumed by anxiety and worry over problems perceived or real.  Some problems aren’t even a problem, we just think they are!  If left unattended, the worry and anxiousness begins to gnaw away at one’s mind and emotions resulting in an uneasy, distressed, anguished, complaining, grumbling, whining person.  Maybe none of you have lived in “fret-fest land,” but I suspect that the Lord put this on my heart to share because there are some of you living there right now and/or something is about to happen and this word will help you not go there!

In fact, I believe that many in the body of Christ are in a battle with fretting tendencies right now because Holy Spirit is bringing this rather hidden sin to the surface and making it glaring so we will deal with it.  We can’t go to the NEW THING He is doing with a bag full of frets.  He wants us free of that luggage and all of our fret-buttons healed so that He can use us in marvelous and exciting ways as intercessors and ministers of His Gospel of Truth.

Fretting has to go because it’s more than a minor worry. It is based in primal instincts of fear and self-preservation. Fear and self-preservation are natural and even good when there is immediate danger.  In fretting both turn to sin. One is doubt in God’s ability or willingness to help and the other is pride and trying to fix it ourselves.  To be victorious intercessors for ourselves and the powerful leaders and witnesses that are Ambassadors of Christ to our spheres of influence, this battle needs to be won by each of us. Fretting needs to be replaced with absolute 100 percent dependent upon God faith where our “belief-o-meter” explodes out the top.

But HOW, was my question to the Lord as He revealed this need of healing for my soul.  I heard in response: “Call unto Me and I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know,” Jeremiah 33:3 and “I am the author and finisher of your faith!” Hebrews 12:2.  The main thing was for me to admit that I was dealing with the revelation of a longtime hidden sin of fretting and repent for allowing that gnawing all-consuming worry to erode my ability to believe God.  I need to call upon Him to help me. So,  I thanked Him for revealing this thing, repented and received forgiveness. His forgiveness is amazing!  What seemed impossible to overcome became simple to me. If I ask Jesus for more faith, He will supply it. If I Believe HIM, I will receive because there is nothing too hard for Him.

So, take time with the Lord during this season of fretting revelation. Ask Him if some or maybe all of your challenges are being amplified because your soul is having a fret-fest.  Then get ready for a belief-o-meter explosion! He’s got mega-faith stored up for you so you can receive the mega-answers and breakthroughs He is ready to pour out of heaven!

May this season be one of most astounding reaping of all you have sown into the Kingdom of God!

With Joy


Authored by Rev Cheryl Birch
May be shared with author and date intact
Copyrighted 2019 Cheryl S. Birch
photo found on google labeled for reuse

Exiting Time Space Limitations

Time Space image
This past week I was reading the book “In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day” by Pastor Mark Batterson… crazy title, but a great book to read if you haven’t already. Something he said about space, time and prayer really inspired me. He described our human finite space, time, dimension limitations and used an example of a drawn cartoon to explain… “imagine if a comic-strip character could take on a third dimension. The added degree of freedom would enable him to jump right off the page. Isn’t that what faith does? Maybe we underestimate our freedom in Christ. Maybe it’s not just freedom from sin. Maybe it is the freedom to do the extra-dimensional.  Faith gives us the dimensional freedom to overcome our human limitations by exiting space-time via prayer.”
I added in my notes “Exiting space – time limitations via strong faith-prayer launches us into God’s multi-dimensional (really unlimited dimensional) Presence.  In the Presence of God anything and everything is possible!!”
To me there is little doubt that Apostle Paul (probably all the Apostles) had extra-dimensional experiences and freedom in Christ that most of us are just starting to learn about or walk in enough faith to experience. Seems that life’s challenges constantly batter our faith and it’s hard to use our sanctified imagination to envision prayer that breaks the space-time barriers of our life in this world. But, Paul broke through! If he did, we can, but it takes overcoming faith like Paul had.
Truly if I were beaten, stoned, nearly drowned at sea, got bitten by a poisonous viper, thrown in prison (more than once) and my preaching caused an entire to city to riot, I would wonder if I was on the right track. Paul dwelt in a different spiritual space. He walked away from the beatings and stoning alive, sang songs to the Lord with Silas in a dank dark dungeon of a prison, wrote to the Philippians amazing encouragement despite his prison chains, didn’t drown at sea, shook off the viper and lived. Plus, the rioting city ended up with a move of God as did everywhere he set his foot for Christ. Signs and wonders followed him wherever he went. On top of that under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit he wrote most of the New Testament.
Why was his ministry so supernaturally successful and lasting despite all the seemingly huge setbacks? Because he had encounters with God in prayer. He prayed and he asked others to pray for him and his ministry. (2 Thessalonians Chapter 3, Ephesians Chapter 6, Romans 15 are examples.) Not only that he likely exited space-time dimensions of this earth and he saw and heard “unspeakably” wonderful things. He got to see life in Christ Jesus from God’s multi-dimensional perspective.  (Read 2 Corinthians 12:1-6)
No doubt James is describing this kind of prayer experience when he wrote: “The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous avails much.” (James 5:16) And that is exactly what is happening as we continue to press into prayer for our families, cities, states, nation and for the body of Christ. We are breaking through to God’s multi-dimensional ability to move mountains of problems and illness, uproot deep-seated transgressions,  and see both cast into the sea of God’s forgiveness mercy and grace. How exciting!!
This month let’s ask the Lord for multi-dimensional faith to pray prayers that breakthrough all limitations of space-time. Let’s ask Him for things impossible for us to accomplish without Him… Things that He can answer and get all the glory. As the world becomes more and more challenging, we all need this kind of prayer support and so does every aspect of this earthly realm Father God has assigned us to!
Father God is calling us to come up higher!
I can hardly wait to see what He is about to do…
Blessings of JOY and Peace,
Authored by Rev Cheryl Birch
May be shared with author and date intact
Copyrighted 2019 Cheryl S. Birch
photo found on google labeled for reuse

The Belief Factor

Believe image
I’ve been reading some devotionals by Steve Backlund of Igniting Hope Ministries that have been very impacting and inspiring.. Recently he sent out a message that in a nut shell admonished the reader to be aware that what we say (declare, proclaim, pray) with faith transforms challenging situations into catalytic moments for breakthrough.  Amen! But, really believing that is another question.
Sometimes when we pray the answers don’t come immediately. In fact, a lot of times the answers don’t come immediately! In those long seasons waiting for answers for our lives, for our ministries,  for loved ones etc., it can become hard to believe that anything we have declared, proclaimed or prayed has transforming power. Pastor Steve goes on to say that “What we believe about a situation is more of a problem than the situation.” That got me to pause and reread what he wrote!
The truth is our faith-filled utterances are always power packed – it is the belief factor that makes the difference. No faith, no power. Lot’s of faith, lots of power. How long it takes to receive the answer isn’t a measure of the power of our prayers, it is what we believe that matters most!
As we pray over our family, church, city, nation, world situations or anything else, it’s vital to ask ourselves what we are believing about that (those) situation(s). Always do a belief check first. Pastor Steve’s final comment was “There is ALWAYS a solution to every problem.” Another Amen! Indeed, we serve a God of infinite possibilities and solutions.  Nothing is impossible for our God! Luke 18:27  Pray as the writer of Hebrews has suggested “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11: 6  (NKJV)
There is great reward ahead for us individually and as the body of Christ as we pray knowing our God is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. When we pray with that kind of faith we can be assured that all of us will receive HIS amazing rewards!! Now, that might mean that we do not receive exactly what we think is best for us, but we will definitely receive the highest and the best Father God has planned for us.
Father God is calling higher and higher into His marvelous supernatural world! Our thoughts and desires are so much lessor than what He has for us. Personally, I can hardly wait to see and experience His magnanimous blessings!!!
With much peace and joy to you all!
Authored by Rev. Cheryl Birch
May be shared with author and date intact
Copyrighted 2019 Cheryl S. Birch
Photo found on google labeled for reuse

The Butterfly Effect

Butterfly - Monarch

This past week I was reading a book that primarily centers on our life choices and how important it is to trust God and to take risks at His word to us, even if it seems counter-intuitive (That’s another another way of saying “scary.”) The premise is that every decision and choice we make sets the stage for our future this side of heaven and it affects our ability to step fully into our divine destiny in Christ Jesus. Thankfully, we get a lot of do-overs because of the Blood of Jesus and GRACE of God… And, He can turn even our biggest mistakes into huge victories, BUT at some point we need to make THE choice or choices, life changing decisions, that get us going on His chosen path for us.

In the middle of the chapter I am reading, the “butterfly effect” was mentioned. Now, I am not so sure I am a fan of Chaos Theory with which the term “butterfly effect” is connected, but I was grabbed by the statements of the scientist that published his findings regarding a weather model computer experiment he did back in 1961. It was his research that birthed the term butterfly effect. He had run a very successful multi-month weather model and decided to rerun it to check for accuracy. But, he made a choice to enter one number a little differently. Instead of using 0.506127 value as he had done in the original program he rounded it to 0.506 value thinking the change was so small it wouldn’t affect anything. He said he stepped away for a coffee break and when he came back he found that the weather model had change significantly. In fact, so much change occurred that by the end of the second month of predictions the computer had created new values nothing like the original model. His change to the computer model by rounding the number was so insignificant at face value that it was deemed no more than a “flap of a butterfly’s wing.” Yet, it dramatically changed the weather model.

As I thought about this I felt the presence of the Lord so strong and I heard “The Prayer Effect.” We have the ability to pray and it changes everything! Sometimes at face value it looks like we are going nowhere. No apparent answers, change or breakthrough is even hinted at. That is when we really need to keep flapping those butterfly wings spiritually speaking! It’s Vital for us all to keep praying, declaring and proclaiming God’s word. Every prayer we bring to God in faith, or don’t bring to God’s throne of grace, sets the stage for His answers and breakthroughs in our future, individually and collectively. Or, with no prayer, we are in for even more delay.

Remarkably in the supernatural world of Father God our prayers, or our prayerlessness, affects not only us, but others for whom we intercede. Whole cities, nations, regions, families, neighborhoods, ministries, and world systems are impacted by how much we value prayer. Prayerlessness does nothing; the model stays the same or even deteriorates. On the other hand, what we pray in our prayer closet causes a ripple effect in the spirit realms! It is beyond mind boggling to me the potential impact and long term effect of just one prayer a day, let alone dozens! No doubt that effect was what James was referring to when he stated that our effectual fervent prayers avail much. And John when he told us to pray in confidence because God hears us and He will answer.

So, brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we are daily seeing “The Prayer Effect” in action. We are recipients of a grand supernatural “butterfly effect” as the Lord uses every word of praying saints to do marvelous things to advance His Kingdom through us and through our ministries! Holy Spirit is on the move creating magnificent changes and He is transforming the body of Christ person by person, heart by heart. If we will grab this, we can be positioned on the cutting edge of what Holy Spirit is doing in the earth! We can be recipients of the dramatic freeing changes coming upon all who serve the Lord Jesus Christ AND help pray the same freedom for others.

Whether you say a fervent one minute prayer daily over specific topics, people or a geographic location, or have one day a week when you can pray for a couple of hours, or any combo of time and prayer throughout the week, I hear the Lord saying: YOU are making a huge difference! What you may be seeing right now in your life or in the world does not indicate what the outcome will be! There are exciting NEW Things still to come!

Grab hold of the truth that what you pray, what you choose to do or not do, who you are in Christ Jesus has a marvelous impact for His Kingdom! Make a Butterfly Effect choice today. Become part of “The Prayer Effect” for the body of Christ and for our world! 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

Keep flapping those prayer wings!
JOY and Peace to you all,

Authored by Rev. Cheryl Birch
Published 4-29-19
May be shared with name of author and date intact
Copyrighted 2019 Cheryl S. Birch

Shalom is more than Peace

This month the Lord has really highlighted to me the amazing power found in praying His Peace into and over every situation. In fact, so much so that I want to put out a challenge for us to specifically pray for God’s Peace, Shalom, over our communities, states and nations….and, all of us, for the next 30 days and beyond as the Lord leads.  I believe we will see Holy Spirit move in outrageously amazing ways in response!

This challenge will be most effective if we have an understanding that Peace in the word of God is both a noun and a verb. It is both a state of being and an action word!  Simply stated Shalom is more than peace.

God’s Peace is the word Shalom in Hebrew, interpreted in Greek as the word Eirene. However, we must note that the Hebrew folks and our Lord Jesus would have actually spoken or written the word Shalom wherever you see Eirene used.

Shalom means to have favor, to be safe,happy, healthy, prosperous, restored: perfectly well and whole and at rest. It’s profoundly interesting to not that
the Hebrew symbols for Shalom actually say “the authority that destroys chaos.” It is an action word! It is something we can choose to be and choose to pursue and do in the power of God.

Eirene means prosperity: to be one, peace, quietness, rest, + set at one  again (put back together).

What most of us really want is to experience the state of being represented by the noun Peace – which really is a goal of resting in the Lord – but, we’re not going to get to that goal until we understand the mighty ACTION of the verb Shalom/Eirene which is part of the transformational work of Holy Spirit that will lead us to the place of rest, wholeness, and prosperity in Him.

Holy Spirit brought this home to me at a recent prayer retreat I attended. He gave 3 scriptures as I was reading the Passion Translation

Psalm 23:1-3 The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd.  I always have more than enough. He offers a resting place for me in his luxurious love. His tracks take me to an oasis of peace, the quiet brook of bliss. That’s where he restores and revives my life. He opens before me pathways to God’s pleasure and leads me along in his footsteps of righteousness so that I can bring honor to his name.

Romans 14:17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of rules about food and drink, but is in the realm of the Holy Spirit, filled with righteousness, peace, and joy.

Romans 16:20 And the God of peace will swiftly pound Satan to a pulp under your feet! And the wonderful favor of our Lord Jesus will surround you.

What David wrote in Psalm 23 – actually the whole of it – is our goal. No matter what is going on we can abide in that amazing place of resting in our God, at peace, knowing HE has it all taken care of, whatever “it” may be.   Ultimately verse 6 is the result: So why would I fear the future? For your goodness and love pursue me all the days of my life. Then afterward, when my life is through, I’ll return to your glorious presence to be forever with you! 

The Romans 14 verse reveals a three-part active, action oriented, transformation of every soul and thereby the Kingdom of God is built as whole families, congregations, neighborhoods, cities, nations are restored. Believers are transformed through salvation which brings righteousness, the process of healing our soul (wounds of the heart and mind) which brings peace. Righteousness plus Peace produces great joy in our Lord!

Then there is the ACTION part of peace that destroys chaos: Romans 16 which reveals the astounding power of cooperating with the God of Peace. The Shalom released by God into our lives is so powerful that it pounds satan to a pulp under our feet making room for Jesus to surround us with His wonderful favor. That is our goal of intercession in this challenge of praying peace. As we co-conspire with Holy Spirit this month asking for the restoring transforming power of peace, satan is gonna get a pounding! The result? The Kingdom of God: righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit!!

The Body of Christ needs this kind of prayer as they minister and as they launch into the new things our God is doing. WE who pray and intercede need this kind of prayer. Our world needs this kind of prayer. What most folks think peace is falls far short of God’s definition.

Shalom is a magnificent gift from a magnificent God. The more we understand His peace the more we will see lives changed for Him. For additional information about the mighty and amazing action of the Peace of God, and why it is so vital to pray for and to cooperate with His Shalom, check out this excellent (and short) Bible Project video   https://thebibleproject.com/videos/shalom-peace/.  And explore their site. It’s chock full of good stuff for personal study and to share with others.

If you decide to begin the “Praying Peace” challenge, let me know!


Photo found on Google Images labeled “for reuse”

A Great Seeing and Hearing

As I was reading Ephesians chapter 1 on January 1st I got grabbed by Holy Spirit and  began to write in my journal. This is what the Lord gave me about the New Year and beyond:

This year My people will learn to TRUST me like never before. I will do great exploits for them so that they may do great exploits that glorify Me and build MY Kingdom!

My banner of TRUST flies over them. They will see the demonstrations that are the longing of their hearts as they humble themselves before My throne of grace and give to Me the reins of their lives. They are the ones that sit at My feet loving Me no matter the cost. These are the ones that long to hear My voice and yearn to see what I see.

A “Great Seeing” is upon these, My Beloveds. Ability to see Me high and lifted up; to see what they have not been able to see.  A “Great Hearing” is being bestowed upon them even as you write this message. They will hear what they have not been able to hear. In the seeing and hearing they will be able to speak My words and perform My acts of mercy in the earth unlike they have ever done before.

No generation is like this generation. For Myself I have prepared a generation and I am raising them up. A generation that TRUSTS Me. A generation that WORSHIPS Me in spirit and in truth. This generation will shine for Me, glorifying Me, honoring Me; a chosen “generation of generations.”

All who will bow down I will lift up as mighty and strong in My love and power. Hurting, dying, lost souls cry out and this generation will hear keenly their hearts cry. They will bring in My harvest with joy; no longer fearful, no longer self absorbed, oppressed, or held back by life circumstances. The time of their testing and training for this season is over. Great opportunities are upon them to build My Kingdom. I have equipped them!

Through their tears and sacrifices they have become vessels of honor that I will fill to overflowing with My Brand New Wine.

(Speaking to each individual the Lord said tell them) Just a little while you will see your True Heart’s Desire!

(He concluded)

My Beloveds, I am proud of you! My hand of favor is upon you. My love wraps you. My joy fills your heart and I am making you strong in MY POWER! I am wiping away all hindrances. Dust yourself off and GO!

Love, Papa

Submitted by Rev Cheryl Birch
January 1, 2019